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Old 06-07-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
bounds
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As Iím sure many of you have experienced, elgatoís farm thread really inspired me to get serious about my food plotting. So first off, thanks so much Rusty for putting that together. I know it takes a lot of effort to keep that thread up, especially as long as itís been going. Iíve really enjoyed the incredible detail and laid back attitude youíve shown through the whole thing. The pics are pretty nice too J. Itís definitely my favorite thread on this site.

I donít contribute a lot on here, but thought I would give a little back and show what my dad, brother and I are doing on our land.

To give you some background on me, I grew up hunting southeast Texas where Iím from. About the time I was old enough to hunt on my own and really got into it for myself (12-13), my grandparents bought a little ranch in south Texas. Then late in high school we got on a deer lease in the hill country. Iíve lived in central Texas since I graduated high school, couple that with other places to hunt and I never hunted here in east Texas until this past year.

When I was in high school, I started planting plots on our place in south Texas, but as Rusty has said, it all depends on water down there. So I never had much success, but I learned a lot in the process.

We sold the south Texas place last year and the lease has been gone for some time. Last fall, my wife and I moved back to my hometown, so I had my first real deer season on our land here. Iíve indoctrinated my dad into being serious about our management plan and planting food plots (thanks to a serious slide show based on Rustyís thread and a couple of good beers)!

A little on our land here. Itís been in our family for close to 40 years now. Iím incredibly blessed to have this land to use, as I know so many donít have access to this type of property. Its 320 acres and almost completely timbered with probably 75/25 split of hardwoods to pine. It was originally 360 acres and we've always called it "The 360". We have a 3 acre field and another Ĺ acre field that are clear cut. Other than that we have roads and a couple of other small clearings that are clear of underbrush but have mature trees. We also are completely surrounded by small neighbors; I think 23 or 26 property owners with average property size of 5-10 acres. Managing is a challenge in this situation and trespassers are not uncommon.

My dad bought a 32 horse john deere last fall and we got a 5 ft tiller with it. So that and a lot of sweat are what we're working with. My grandpa always had good tractors, but never a tiller. I always used a disc. The tiller is awesome. Get one if you can.

Sorry for the loooong intro...
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:42 PM   #2
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On to the good stuff...

Well right off the bat we broke one of the big rules and didnít do a soil test. Was planning to test, lime and fertilize in mid March, then plant, as it was so warm this spring. But then the rain came down. Couldnít get lime or fertilize out. It finally got to where we could around May 1st. By then, the lime supplier we were going to use was in full fertilizer mode and couldnít help us, so we decided to just fertilize and plant and lime later this summer when itís dry.

We tilled everything and then got fertilizer out on 5/13. We hit our two clear cut fields to plant now and then the two other clearings with mature trees that weíll plant in the fall. We got seed in the ground on 5/16 and then prayed for rain.

2 acres were planted with Whitetail Institute Powerplant and the other 1.5 acres was in soybeans, iron clay cowpeas and sunflowers (same mix as Powerplant but without the sunn hemp). I did this to get a side by side comparison to see if the claims of the branded seed prove fruitful.

5/21-5/22 we got right at 2 inches of rain. We hadnít had any for at least 3 weeks before that, so it was getting dry.

5/28 had another inch

6/1-6/6 weíve had about 4 inches.

With all that rain and a couple of low spots in our fields that hold water, weíve lost some of our seed. Besides that, the rain has everything else off to a great start. Weíre 3 weeks in and some of the beans are a foot tall already. Weíve got sunshine the rest of the week, so I really think weíre going to get some big growth in the next 7 days.

Weíve been seeing some tracks, more pigs than deer, and have already noticed plants already nibbled off. I went out there Monday night right before dark and saw our first deer in the big plot, a doe on one side of the field and 2 bucks on the other. A 1 year old little guy and probably a 3 year old. Both had roughly 6 inches of growth on their head.

Great to see our work already paying off! I'll get some pics up asap.
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:29 PM   #3
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In!
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:13 PM   #4
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Nice!


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Old 06-07-2017, 10:52 PM   #5
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In for pics. Let's see the place!!!
Where are y'all at?
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:17 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. The place is just outside of Cleveland. Here's some pics to get us going.

This is just after finishing mowing before we tilled. That's my 2 year old. He loves the tractor.



A couple from getting it all tilled.



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Old 06-07-2017, 11:26 PM   #7
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Thats gonna be awesome!
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:07 AM   #8
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I forgot to mention that I'm really doing this to show what an average joe is doing/can do. Yeah we do have a decent chunk of land, but don't have the time or resources that elgato and probably many others on here have. We'll have a budget most guys that have their own land or pay for a lease can swing.

I'd say we also have pretty poor conditions for growing mature deer. Like I said, we have lots of small neighbors in a part of the state that is notorious for people shooting anything that walks and not caring too much about property lines.

So the odds definitely aren't in our favor. I'm just hoping we can persuade deer to spend as much of their life on our land as possible. Luckily we don't have to try too hard to offer better conditions than the surrounding area.

We've set goals for a 5 year horizon. For bucks, we'd like to see the place produce a 130+ buck every year, a 140+ every 2-3 years and a 150+ every 5 years. We plan to hit plots heavy and feed protein, though plots will take priority as protein can blow the budget pretty quick.

Enough for tonight. I'll get some more pics up tomorrow.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:47 AM   #9
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This will be a fun project and learning experience if nothing else. This is our first opportunity to really get serious and work with what we have. Hopefully a good opportunity to get our boys involved at a young age too. Glad to be doing this with you brother!
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:33 AM   #10
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There he is! Me too!
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:45 AM   #11
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Hi bounds..don't post much around here. I also enjoyed elgato's farm tread. I dream of one day having some land to 'play on'. I wish you all the best and will be following along.

I wanted to mention if you haven't checked out Grant Woods at growingdeer.tv I would highly recommend it. I have been following him for years and the transformation he made with his farm in the rocky Ozark mountains of MO is amazing. Big horns no doubt start in the dirt! Get that soil tested sir. All the best to you.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:59 PM   #12
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Thanks lilhoss. I hadn't seen his stuff before, but he's got some great content and results. Will definitely get a soil test done. Had full intentions to and then life's been happeningÖ

Here's pics from 10 days after planting.



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Old 06-08-2017, 10:09 PM   #13
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This is Saturday 6/3, 18 days after planting. Going to take more pics on Saturday. Can't wait to see what this sunshine has done.







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Old 06-09-2017, 07:12 AM   #14
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Looks great! I understand the life thing.
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Old 06-09-2017, 05:16 PM   #15
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Just catching up. You are going to have a blast and I look forward to the updates. Even better I look forward to watching your son grow up in this slice of paradise. What a lifestyle to be raised in!

Crops look good and and I bet you are already 'plotting' this falls strategy.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:12 PM   #16
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Look awesome! Definitely will be watching this thread and look forward to more updates.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:00 AM   #17
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Thanks guys. My second son was born on the 14th, so I've been off the screen for a couple weeks. The plots are coming along strong.

The smaller plot had a lot better soil and it is all about waist high at this point. It was one of my favorite spots to hunt last fall, so I'm pretty pumped about hunting it this year.

The big plot has some signs of greatness but the lack of lime has a lot of it struggling. It was a gas well pad about 10 years ago and we dug our lake out to put clay on the pad. So that clay isn't helping me out much at this point. Some areas are coming in great, but the clay spots have stunted growth and the water holding spots don't have much of anything.

6/1-6/4 we had almost 2 inches of rain and things had gotten soggy. But it had been hot and dry since and allowed everything to grow and dry out for the most part. From last Thursday to yesterday morning we got another 1.5 inches and looks like more this week. So I expect a lot of growth in the next couple weeks.

Some of the sunn hemp is already chest high. I've heard it said that sunn hemp's claim to fame is 6 ft of growth in 60 days. Some of it is going to live up to that.

Pics tonight...
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:27 PM   #18
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A question or observation...

Saturday night my brother and I were riding around late looking for hogs. It was after midnight and we drove up to the edge of the big field. We had cut the lights off and in the moonlight could see some of the tall stalks right in front of us looked really slender with no leaves.

On closer inspection, it appears as though the leaves on sunn hemp fold upward against the stalk at night. I haven't heard this from any of the research I've done on sunn hemp. Anyone else seen this before?
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:53 AM   #19
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Should probably post this in another thread to get more views but I've got a question on hogs. We never had too many until a couple years ago. A few thousand acres that was separated from us by a few hundred yards was developed (clear cut) and so a couple of years ago we had a bunch of hogs move in.

Usually they move on and off our property, but with all that gone, they've set up shop. Our place being so thick, shooting what we see isn't putting a dent in them, so I'm working on the best way to trap as many as I can.

I'd love to be able to use a remote trap door system to catch a bunch at a time, but don't have that kind of money right now.

I'm actually thinking of setting that type of trap up under a big oak tree and tripping the door manually. My thought is to set up the trap and hang a stand above the door. I'd use a trail cam and pattern what time they're coming in. Then, once they're comfortable and consistent coming in, I'd climb in the stand one evening and have a rope set up to where when they come in, I can just let go of it and release the door.

Thoughts on trying this?
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:53 PM   #20
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Photobucket is driving me crazy with uploads. Will try tonight on wifi to get more. Here's one pic from the other day. The bare spot in foreground is very low and holds water. Didn't put seed there.

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Old 06-29-2017, 03:53 PM   #21
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A few more pics. Deer are really starting to use the plots now. Seeing a lot of browse. Finally got cameras out yesterday so hopefully I'll have some more exciting pics in a week or so. Here's a few of the bigger field. With growth not being as good here, there's some competing grasses/weeds.








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Old 06-29-2017, 03:54 PM   #22
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The bare spots you see are where water pools. That big one in the last pic held water for a couple of weeks at the beginning of June. That strip of grass in the last pic is the road. We didn't plant that.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:57 PM   #23
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Here's another angle of the smaller field. More and more excited about this spot!

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Old 06-30-2017, 02:06 PM   #24
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It's exciting to see the deer have already been hitting it. Should look real good in a couple weeks!
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:46 PM   #25
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In for updates!

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Old 07-02-2017, 02:33 PM   #26
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Nice to see another food plot thread ! The only crop I saw mentioned was sunn hemp. Are you growing anything else ?

I ran into the same problem with lime in Trinity Co. Last year was so wet that the feed mill wouldn't stock any lime when I needed it in the spring. Then when I got ready to plant for fall, they were too busy. I only needed six tons so was pretty far down the priority list. I finally got my lime this March so I'm expecting a little better plots this fall. Good luck and keep us informed !
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:39 PM   #27
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Sorry guys. Been slow to update since the baby was born. Looks like I finally got bit by the photobucket bug. I'll have to get my pics fixed.

Trying to go out this evening to check everything out. The small plot is still growing well but the big plot everything seems to have stalled on growth. Gotta get that lime...

Question. Deer seemed to feed a lot the first 6 weeks; noticed a lot of snipped plants. Now that everything has matured a little more (but hasn't sprouted beans) seems like they're not hitting it as hard.

Would that be from the leaves/stalks not being as tender since they've gotten bigger? Guessing they'll really start hitting everything once beans start sprouting soon.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:07 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Nice to see another food plot thread ! The only crop I saw mentioned was sunn hemp. Are you growing anything else ?
Sunn Hemp is mixed into most of the big plot. Everything else is soybeans, iron clay cowpeas and sunflowers.

We got 1.75 inches of rain last night so that's going to carry us through for a while. It was getting dry!
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:59 PM   #29
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